Associations collaborate to host Halliday Chardonnay & Cabernet Challenge

Image: Erin Larkin judging in Margaret River in 2020.

The James Halliday Australian Chardonnay and Cabernet Challenges will be ‘blended’ and judged simultaneously by the Margaret River Wine Association and Wine Yarra Valley from this year onwards.

The James Halliday Australian Chardonnay and Cabernet Challenge is a celebration of the world’s most popular two varieties and Australia’s outstanding regional diversity. Margaret River Wine Association and Wine Yarra Valley will collaborate and jointly host the Chardonnay and Cabernet Challenges.

The competition will be judged in the Yarra Valley in August this year and then will move between the two iconic regions on alternate years.

Born in the Yarra Valley in 2012, the James Halliday Australian Chardonnay Challenge celebrates all chardonnays in its quest to find the nation’s best. Chardonnay is Australia’s most planted white variety and the continuing evolution of its style by Australian makers is heralded globally.

The James Halliday Australian Cabernet Challenge was launched in 2016. As the worlds’ most widely planted vine and Australia’s third most planted variety, Cabernet Sauvignon is one of Australian wine’s great success stories.

“The decision to bring the Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon Challenges together in August provides a win-win scenario for all the stakeholders. This year the Challenges will be held in the Yarra Valley, next year in Margaret River. The results will provide a unique snapshot of the state of play of these two great varieties,” said James Halliday.

The highest pointed wines for each variety will be rewarded with the James Halliday Trophy and the regional winners with scores of 95 points or more are also recognised.

Judging will take place 23-25 August in the Yarra Valley, and a comprehensive contingency plan is in place if changes are required. Entries are open until 26 July.

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